My son is now in the 7th grade at Hand. He is in their single gender program which is wonderful! He's also in all advanced placement courses and they are VERY challenging and the teachers hold them to a high standard. We're very happy with Hand Middle and highly recommend it. I'll also add that their service clubs and activities are incredible and we love that holistic approach and offerings in our public school.
My child received the best education I could have asked for. The teachers and administration were always enthusiastic willing to provide extra help. My child developed life-long friendships and dedicates much of her success to the education she received from Hand. I loved that Hand offered family reading and math nights to keep parents involved. My daughter even was able to stay after school for archery lessons.
This school is sharply divided between black and white. It can be really hard for kids who are more normal and open minded about race. While schools are not solely responsible for social issues, this one seems to be way worse than others in the Columbia region. And no one tries to address it. In fact, There are some divisive programs and policies that feed into it . It's really too bad and academically distracting. So disturbing and difficult for parents, kids and teachers zi imagine. You would think there would be some sort of attempt to remedy the situation. Lots of fighting over it too. Leadership is blind.
Hand Middle School is a wonderful school! My child is happy to go to school everyday! The principal and the teachers are the best we have ever experienced. Every time I enter the doorway I am greeted with a smile from all of the staff. My child is challenged with rigorous classroom experiences. I was thrilled that they offer Chinese as a language elective.
My sweet AP sixth grader started out a bright eyed, enthusiastic kid at Hand only to become academically and socially frustrated, having been subjected to rampant bullying, nasty racial comments from kids and sexist ridicule from teachers. Violent fights occur on a regular basis as do highly inappropriate conversations--all in class! Yes, a few truly outstanding teachers, but serious issues erupt right under the school's nose with no responsible administrative response. The school specializes in maintaining a clean public profile while keeping parents in the dark. In my experience the real story is one of an unresponsive, phony institution that failed our child. Given the formative importance of the middle school years, I find the lack of any real honest leadership at Hand to be deplorable and these glowing reviews to be naive. One guidance counselor for every 300 students in a school with over 900?--no surprise they prefer to sweep problems under the rug. We will be dealing with the discouragement Hand caused our child for quite some time. If you are considering another option, do so with a view of the real Hand Middle, not its image. Trust me, there is an elephant in the room!!